Happy Hogmanay!

That clock really knows how to party

Auld Lang Syne (in pentatonic Scottish folk melody)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

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Posted by SenTimMental AT 10:12AM 0 Comments Comments Post A Comment Post A Comment Email Email

Fools and Their Money?


Prune-eating readers of this blog (since I haven't been posting regularly, you're going to have to take care of yourselves) will have no doubt noticed a certain amount of populist sentiment on my part about wine prices. The cost of production of a bottle of wine varies based on technology applied, the  cost of crops (bunch thinning and winnowing at the picking table increase raw material costs) and such, but the cost of producing a bottle is in the end both finite and not stratospherically high. Where transgressively high wine prices come from is not an honest mark-up on a finite cost, but rather from artificially driven demand on a limited supply of product. While this is nice work if you can get it, at the end of the day it can often mean that when a winery figures out a gimmick to increase demand, they can get some 'stupid money' chasing a limited supply of their wine, driving the costs out of sight. I find this irritating.

A self-serving attitude? Well, of course. After all, Winexpert sells consumer winemaking products that allow you to make single-vineyard Hyper-Premium wines at five or six dollars a bottle, packaging included. But it goes back beyond that, way to the dawn of my own personal quest for wine knowledge, the early 1980's. I was learning about wine and the journey took me to some wonderful places. Back then we were getting great bottles of wine out of California, Australia, France, Germany and Italy, from prestigious producers, for the equivalent of a few hours pay--we lined up every year to buy a precious few bottles of first-growth Bordeaux and still had grocery money left over. We got a wine education that today is nearly priceless, because times changed, and as the economy boomed, a wine bubble developed--a great big bubble.

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Posted by Culturally Relative Tim AT 10:30AM 8 Comments Comments Post A Comment Post A Comment Email Email

'Tis the Season

Grinch, displaying enlarged heart

Ahh, I love this time of year. We're technically in Winter, but the solstice has turned, and I start looking forward to the days getting longer and the promise of Spring. In the meantime, let there be feasts! Let there be merriment! Let there be a fireplace to gather with family and friends, to share laughter, fellowship and that most precious of gifts, time for each other.

My favorite cup--full of cheer

The cats have decorated our Jul tree, and hung their stockings by the chimney (with care and hopeful notes about Tuna and shiny bits of tinfoil). We're readying our traditional day of sleeping late, wearing pajamas and bathrobes all day and feasting on crustaceans. On Christmas eve we always watch the 1951 Alistair Sims version of A Christmas Carol (haven't missed once in 27 years) and we'll toast with Tiny Tim, 'God bless us, everyone' and bellow along with Scrooge, 'Leaving me no choice but to raise your salary', then we cackle like mad and toast again. I'm really getting very good at moaning along with Marley as well, although Spot doesn't really appreciate it and tries to cover my mouth with his paws.

I must have been very good this year because I've already gotten everything I could wish for: I'm in good health, I'm married to the love of my life, I have an interesting and challenging job to do, friends and family to enjoy and the prospect of another year of all these things ahead of me.

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Posted by The Vandergrinch AT 11:31PM 2 Comments Comments Post A Comment Post A Comment Email Email

Everybody's Talking About Wine

Hey, who's the guy in the dress with the Chateau-neuf du Pape?

Noodling about the interwebs, and apropos of only my own ongoing interest in winey news, I present the following. First, from the 'When Can I Get One of Those' files, Walmart to Install Vending Machines for Wine:

Dangit, they're always out of Gruner Veltliner!

The retailer has received a green light from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to put wine kiosks in stores across the state, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

The machines will reportedly have more than 50 varieties of wine. But before you buy, you'll need to swipe your driver's license and puff into a Breathalyzer.

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Posted by Newsman Tim AT 3:31PM 0 Comments Comments Post A Comment Post A Comment Email Email

LE 2010 Tour: Home

The view out my window for the last nine weeks

Finished my final Limited Edition lecture last night in Pennsylvania, for Mr. Steve's. A great event, but now I'm utterly bushed and on my way back. If anyone needs me, I'll be asleep until Monday.

But lo, all this was for a reason: cut-off for pre-ordering the fantastic five (Austrian Gruner Veltliner, Italian Primitivo, Australian Shiraz-Viognier, Pacifica White and Portuguese Douro Tinto)  is December 10th, and after that you're out of luck. Order early, order often!

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Posted by Tired Tim AT 6:59AM 1 Comment Comments Post A Comment Post A Comment Email Email
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